Public sector leaders and social care professionals in Wales have met today to help shape how Wales’ care services will be delivered in the future.
Coming at a time when Wales’ social care system is having to face up to the challenges of significant demographic change, increased public expectation, unprecedented financial constraint and an ambitious new legislative framework, the ‘Creating tomorrow’s care today’ conference aims to answer some of the key questions being asked about the future delivery of social care services in Wales.
WLGA Spokesperson, Councillor Kevin Madge (Carmarthenshire) said:
“The social care system in Wales needs to adapt, and to adapt quickly to meet the significant challenges being created by demographic change and an unsustainable growth in public demand. This process of adaptation comes at a time of severe public sector austerity and how we balance this reform agenda against the resources we have available to deliver it, is now the central challenge facing the care system in Wales.
“The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill presents a transformational legislative framework for delivering the change that is required within Wales’ care services, and the WLGA welcomes the fact that Welsh Ministers have today confirmed a £1.5million budget allocation to help facilitate the delivery of this new Bill. Local government in Wales has previously called for a detailed examination of the long-term resource implications of the new Bill, and this financial realism will need to continue if the objectives of the Bill are to be realised within front-line operational delivery.
“Protecting the well-being of people in Wales is a basic principle of all our public services and extends well past traditional local government social care boundaries. To deliver the transformational change required within our care services, government at all levels in Wales will need to work closely together, alongside their partners in the private and third sector, in order to clearly define how their shared care service responsibilities can be shaped and delivered in Wales in the future.”
Phil Evans, President of ADSS Cymru said:
“While we know that public demand for services is growing unsustainably, and that the needs of those who rely on their local care services are becoming increasingly complex, what has been clear during the first day of this national conference is the sense of a shared willingness to deliver the changes we all wish to see in Wales.
“The care services we commission and deliver in Wales have the potential to transform the lives of our citizens, but these services themselves are subject to dramatic change as we explore the potential for integrating services across health and local government, and seek to develop a more ‘citizen-focussed’ approach that offers service users a much greater say in how their local support services are structured and delivered.
“As social care professionals we fully recognise the need for change within the existing social care system, and will provide clear and strong leadership during this highly challenging period. While we share the Welsh Government’s vision for a transformed care system in Wales, we must also ‘keep the ball on the park’ by balancing the longer term aspirations contained within the Social Care and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill against the significant demands and service pressures we face on a daily basis during the protection of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
Being held in Llandudno between 27 & 28 June 2013, the ‘National Social Services Conference: creating tomorrow’s care today’ is an annual event organised by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and ADSS Cymru.